30 Jan 2014

The Concept of Beauty

It had rained all this morning. There is no reason but I was thinking about whether 'beauty and luck seldom go together'. Is it true? Maybe, or maybe not. What about Cleopatra? Yang Yuhuan?? Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe??? Although they say they were very beautiful, criterion for beauty is vary, isn't it?
 
Seeking ideal beauty is not bad, because it gives you confident. It reminded me the Japanese film 'Helter Skelter' which became a buzz a few years ago. This is a fiction story about a supermodel Liliko who underwent full body plastic surgery to attain the perfect body and face, but her successful lifestyle cannot last long. It's horrible, but it may comes to the conclusion after giving the beauty serious thought. Are women seeking ideal beauty for satisfying herself or attracting a man? It must be instinctual thing. Women are creatures who are always ruled by the concept of beauty.
 

28 Jan 2014

Today's Sky

A fencing man was supposed to come to fix a fence in our garden today, but it was postpone because of the bad weather... It doesn't go smoothly.
 

27 Jan 2014

Sheringham

We went to the seaside town, Sheringham, Norfolk. I'd wanted to go north. I like Norfolk. We've been to Cromer but the first time to Sheringham. We change a train at Colchester and Norwich, it was about 3 hours train trip.



We got off a train and walked towards the sea. Sheringham is very attractive town. There's no Costa, Nero, Starbucks nor MacDonald. Local shops, cafes and pubs stand along the main street.
 
 
 
We got a fish chocolate. The John Bull seems not Sheringham's local shop but there are many interesting yummy sweets.
 

The North Sea!!!





But our destination was not a seaside. We headed to Upper Sheringham, inland small village. Walked, walked and walked for approximately 30 minutes.
 


Passed a high school and fields. As we surmounted the hill, a lovely village came in sight.


This is Upper Sheringham. The buildings using round stones are feature of Norfolk. When I stepped into the village, I felt as if I slipped back in time or in a different world like wonderland.


 


The hotel we stayed is the country house hotel 'The Dales'. It was a great hotel. It became one of my best hotels I ever stayed in the UK! Staffs were so friendly, beautiful room, nice atmosphere and delicious dinner and breakfast!!


Our room was above the entrance. There was a teddy bear on the bed. The name was Huggy, who was waiting adoption.


I felt comforted. The view from the  window was really beautiful.


In the evening, there was terrible thunderstorm. The lights in the room and TV went off for only a moment. After the dinner, we went outside and looked up at the sky. Sky was clear. We saw a lot of migrating birds were on the wing under a stadium of stars. It was so fantastic! This view gave me goose bumps!!

 
We waked up with a beautiful morning glow.

 
After we checked out, we went back to the Sheringham Station. Train on Sunday runs every 2 hours, so we walked around the town and relaxed in a cafe while we wait a train. It started raining outside.
 

 
When we went back to the station, a man informed us that there's no train today! 'What?' And also a replacement bus had just left a few minutes ago and next bus was two hours after!!! It was Sunday morning, most shops were closed. We'd already had coffee and hot chocolate, our stomach had no space for another coffee. Also it was raining. We decided to go back to Norwich by taxi!! Luckily we could get a taxi.
 
A trip on weekend sometimes has a trouble, especially in January, because engineering works are held here and there. My husband checked in advance about it on the website, but there was no information about a train between Sheringham and Norwich. Or just he missed it. There was no information at the Sheringham Station as well. If there was a note when we got off a taxi at a station, we could have gotten a bus. Well, well, well, what's done is done. A driver said it might be because of yesterday's lightning, and we thought it made sense. But we knew later that it was a usual engineering work. Anyway, we could enjoy different view from the taxi window.
 
All in all, it was a nice weekend trip:) We love to travel to remote place and January is the best month to enjoy the thick silence and winter's beauty. We were lucky to find a nice hotel.

24 Jan 2014

Today's Sky

Tomorrow, we are going to a seaside town. Have a nice weekend!
 


Environment

The view along the river walk has changed. It's a winter but it's more visible than ever, because trees fell down after the storms and were cut down for safety. And also a bank protection work has started.



23 Jan 2014

Today's Sky


Tragedy

I watched Japanese film 'Koizora (2007)'. It's based on a 2005 best-selling novel, about high school students' pure and tragedy love. Since I've watched detective, historical or mysterious dramas in the UK, I felt it’s very very pure, delicate and sensitive. My younger days were far from this story, but it called me up memories of my younger days. If I'd met someone who influenced me in my youth, my life might have been different from now.

Koizora.jpg
 
And then, I feel tempted to read a tragedy love story. My choice is 'Tristan and Iseult' from a bookshelf. :)

Passage of Time

The tragedy has overshadowed by the business of daily living.
 
In my hometown, Miyagi Japan, storage of combustible waste cased by tsunami has finished incinerating. The waste was approximately 10.46 million tons in only Miyagi. This figure is equivalent to 13 years of municipal solid waste in Miyagi. After the earthquake, the Miyagi prefecture created 29 temporary incineration facilities on the coast, to speed up the process. Ashes will be wind up in a landfill. At that time, everybody developed a feeling of despair and hopelessness, but now has overcome. Legacy become ash and return to the soil.
 
I got news that my distant relative died last Monday. She was diagnosed with cancer after her house was washed away by tsunami. It must have been incredible hardship for her and her family. I met her only once or twice, she was a cheerful lady. May her rest in peace...

22 Jan 2014

Today's Sky

We haven't had snow yet!
 

Identity

2014, it's the switchover year of my visa status from Spouse to Indefinite Leave to Remain. I've already passed the English test which is required B1 level, and the Life in the UK test last year. What I need is to collect all documents. I got fiancée visa in Japan using British solicitor, and got spouse visa with much of my husband's help (without solicitor).

The other day, we had a meeting with a solicitor about my Indefinite Leave to Remain. She asked me if  I am thinking about getting British citizenship. To be honest, I haven't thought on it. Some countries allow citizens to have dual nationality, but Japan not allow. That means if you get British citizenship, you must lose your Japanese nationality. I think there are merits and demerits and situation is vary, depends on person, so it's hard to deny all of them. I understand it's the national rule, but also I think it's a bit ridiculous. Because I can chose my future, but I can't change the fact that I was born as Japanese. It's an unchangeable fact of the life. It's not a option, it's the fact. The rule can't change any identity. Even if I choose British citizen, I speak Japanese, I have a family in Japan, I had spent there almost 40 years, and obviously British citizenship will be ostensible nationality under the rule. I know there are other aspects.

What's my identity? I'd never thought about it seriously when I was in Japan. But here, I 'FEEL' it more than ever without thinking. It's because being watched, speaking English without fluency etc. Every moment makes me feel that I am what I am.

Interesting thing is that when we translate the English word 'IDENTITY' into Japanese, there is no perfect muching word, so we say 『アイデンティティ(aidéntəti)』  as a imported word.

21 Jan 2014

Hangers

Since before I moved in this house, there were a pile of wire hangers from dry cleaners. Because, you know, it was a single man's house:) I've wanted to do something using these hangers. I googled to get some ideas and I started to rework these.

 
What you need is;
  • unwanted hangers
  • string (I used cotton string for packing or garden)
  • double sided tape
  • scissors
  • something extra as a decoration such as ribbon, button etc..
  • and patience or motivation:)
 

Just wrap a tape and a string around the hanger.


Voila. They changed into non-slip hangers.


I am going to add something in the middle of hanger. But I haven't decided yet... I am still thinking about it:)

20 Jan 2014

Today's Sunset View


Quick Wonton Soup

I sometimes cook noodles. I found this Wonton Soup Base Mix of Lee Brand. I use this for noodle soup. It's quick and easy:)
 

19 Jan 2014

Darth Vader

I can't stop laughing. Guess what?

Last night, my husband went to bed early because he has an early morning. He has worked during this weekend! I heard his snoring, so obviously he was sleeping. But suddenly he started to hum a tune of the Darth Vader's theme song (The Imperial March) in his dream! And then he started to have snoring again... What on earth did he have a dream about???

In this early morning, he got up and hummed a tune of the Darth Vader again while he prepared for work. I laughed again.
'Why are you humming that theme song?' I asked.
'I don't know.' he said.

Lately, we haven't seen series of Star Wars films nor any connections, and he didn't remember what his dream was. His brain must be colonised by the dark side of the force or something. ;p

17 Jan 2014

Flood Warning

Flood warnings have been issued in the UK. In my town, the rain-swollen river has been rising.





Amulet

I used to go to shrine; Tōshō-gū in Sendai and to get a protective amulet. It was like a tradition. I like the amulets, every shrine has a different design and I think it's so beautiful.
 
This year, my mother sent us amulets. They hold my parents' love and consideration for us:)
 

A Hot-Water Bottle

This is my hot-water bottle. I bought it at Sendai-Izumi Premium Outlet in Japan. I have a cold constitution and this is an essential for winter. I realised that I haven't used this yet this winter season!

16 Jan 2014

New Sprout

I looked in a hunging busket yesterday, the first sprouts of daffodils have appeared!
 

15 Jan 2014

Colour or Price!?

Don't laugh at me, but I was divided between blue towel or beige towel at a department store today. Because;
  1. I wanted to buy 2 blue bath sheets for my husband and to coordinate the colour with bathroom. Only one was left and it was 20% off. It's regular design, so I am sure I can get one more later.
  2. I found 70% off beige bath sheets. To be honest it was my cup of tea and it was high quality. Just it was beige and it's not a regular design.
  3. I wanted to coordinate a bathroom stylishly with blue colour.
  4. Again, beige towels were bargain price.
  5. I wanted to coordinate a bathroom with the same colour in blue.
  6. Again, 70% off and the good quality.
Colour or price? Having a stylish life or being a wise wife? 20% off or 70% off? Respect my intention or respect my cup of tea?

Eventually, I bought beige bath sheets. Well, I was thinking too much over nothing:p I am a bargain hunter and a good handlers of household finances, aren't I?


13 Jan 2014

Warwick

We went to Warwick during the weekend. It was my first visit, but my husband has worked in Warwick many years ago. We left the house early morning, and had a nice train trip to Warwick. We saw some lands were flooded due to heavy rain.


Warwick was one of important fortifications because of its location. It closed to transport routes of a Roman road; Foss Way and the river Avon. The name 'Warwick' means "dwellings by the weir".

We walked from the station to the castle. Many old timber-framed buildings are clustered around the town. It was nice to see old buildings.
 

 
This is the Warwick castle (view from the Mound). It's a medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068.
 

 
The castle was bought by the Tussauds Group in 1978, that's why the castle is touristy now. Inside the castle, some wax dolls were displayed in each room. Also there were attractions 'the Castle Dungeon' and 'Merlin the Dragon Tower (from BBC drama)'. A very emotional and dramatic music (maybe from drama Merlin?) was playing on and on in the Central Courtyard).

 
Ah, the death mask of Oliver Cromwell is here!
 
 
 
 
My husband has visited the castle with his family when he was a boy. He said, there was nothing, couldn't enter the castle, just looked at the castle from the courtyard & field. We bought a ticket only for the castle, but now, it has much to offer visitors. We came up to the stairs of the tower. It was quite hard, because it was long one way, steep and narrow. We were no match for young people... they run lightly up stairs. Up and down, up and down, walked on the wall and we conquered Guy's Tower, Gaol and Caesar's Tower. The view from the tower was fantastic.
 


We came back to the town centre to have a lunch.


 
After the lunch we split up. We found 'Husband Creche (pub)', but I didn't drop him off at there:) He went to a cafe instead of a pub:) I explored the town by myself. I popped in some lovely girly local shops, and visited the museum as well.


The symbol of Warwick is bear. I found some bears, even in a hotel room! The motto is 'Non Sanz Droict (being Norman-French for 'not without right').

 



Thanks to the Life in the UK test made me interested in British History, I have come to understand historic places better:) It's so much fun.